The BEST Campervan Bed Ideas for DIY and Pre-Built Van Life

Welcome to our ultimate guide to the best campervan bed ideas! Whether you want are looking for the most basic convertible bed or want to have a more permanent and dedicated bed, this expert blog post will help you find the best bed to suit your needs.

If you want to create the ultimate DIY camper van, then you’ll have to decide which style of bed to put in your van build.

However, finding the right bed for your van lifestyle can be complicated, especially if you don’t know where to begin.

One of the first decisions you’ll need to make when figuring out how to build a bed in a van is whether to have a platform bed or a convertible bed.

Then of course you’ll need to choose the best campervan mattress, which we’ve luckily outlined in our latest expert guide!

Fixed Platform BedConvertible Bed
* Permanent
* No daily setup/breakdown
* Can build storage beneath the bed
* Take up less space
* Can serve as a bench when not in use
* Must be setup/broked down daily

A fixed platform bed is a permanent solution for your camper van. It has a dedicated space within your van, which takes the hassle out of setting it up each night.

Although they may seem like they take up a lot of space in your van, platform beds actually provide ample storage. If you position your bed higher up in your van, then you’ll have plenty of bed space underneath.

Or, you can opt for a lower bed with more headspace, which can be outfitted with shelves to store clothes or items.

The biggest downside to a platform bed is the lack of additional seating space. Unless you have an RV or large van, you probably won’t have any room for a couchette or dining space if you go with a fixed campervan bed frame.

Platform Bed ProsPlatform Bed Cons
* No hassle in setting up each night
* Can build storage space underneath
* Easy to build yourself
* Take up space
* Fixed/permanent

If you’re looking for something with more flexible style options, then a convertible bed might be a better choice for your DIY camper.

These camper beds can be folded up when they’re not in use, which makes your campervan interior space more flexible.

This allows you to create a unique van that can fit a couch, desk, or even a dining table inside. However, you’ll have to assemble your bed each night, which can be cumbersome.

Convertible Bed ProsConvertible Bed Cons
* Take up less space
* Serve as a bench/couch when not a bed
* Must be setup/broken down each day
* More challenging to build yourself

If you’re looking for creative and practical ideas for your van or DIY camper, then we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ll discuss different van conversion bed ideas for your unique van build.

Campervan Bed Ideas for Your Van Conversion

Are you looking for bed designs for your next camper conversion, or want to change things up in your current setup?

We’ve chosen a few different campervan bed ideas to help with inspiration, from the simple to the practical to the unique.

Note that most of these examples are convertible beds as these are the most common beds in vans.

Flip Bench Beds

Hit two birds with one stone by outfitting your campervan conversion with a campervan seat bed or flip bench bed.

During the day, it can be used as a regular bench or couch.

But when it’s time to go to bed, the bench seat flips down and becomes a lay flatbed.All you have to do is put a comfy mattress or cushion on top, and you’re all set for a good night’s sleep.

While this is a decent convertible option for a van with little to no interior space, it does require you to make your bed each day. But it’s a practical style if you want a campervan bed and a seating area in your living space.

Table Beds

A duel bed and table system is one of the most innovative campervan bed ideas we’ve seen.

This conversion set up can be used as a twin-bench and table dinette area during the day and as a lay-flat double bed at night.

While you’ll still have to set it up each time, assembly is relatively easy compared to other conversion van beds.

Keep in mind that you’ll need to have space in your van to store the table part when it’s not being used. This can be tricky if your conversion interior camper van is small.

platform campervan beds
A platform bed allows you to maximize storage space beneath the bed.

Drop-Down Beds

If you’re looking for a permanent fixture or something that doesn’t take up too much space, then consider building in a drop-down Murphy bed in your interior camper van conversion.

It can be stored upright during the day, opening up your floor plan and giving you extra storage space.

If you’re building a Murphy bed in your campervan by hand, you should leave enough room between the platform and the wall to fit the mattress and sheets.

If you don’t, then you’ll have to make your bed each night, which can be a huge pain.

Outdoor Drawbridge Camper Beds

We’ve also seen some cool outdoor drop-down bed ideas for campervans, which is great if you want to live the camper life and sleep under the stars.

If the back of your van can open up, then you can have the bed fold out like a drawbridge for the ultimate outdoor experience.

And when it’s time to drive off, the campervan folding bed seat can be stored against the wall, giving you more interior space.

Because it’s one of the more unique styles of van life beds, an outdoor drawbridge bed makes a fun, creative project for your camper van conversion DIY.

Rock and Roll Beds

Installing a rock and roll bed in your campervan is a practical way to make use of the space you already. While you’re on the road, they can be used as normal passenger seats.

And at night, just pull the handle or lever and the seats will fold down to become a campervan bed. Even if you already have a platform bed in your campervan, you can always install a rock and roll style bed to accommodate any extra guests.

If you’re not looking for a big construction project for your next van build, then you can buy a premade rock and roll bed.

However, more construction-savvy people in the van life community might choose to build their own rock and roll campervan bed that is customized to their van.

Bunk Beds

Ideal for families or anyone traveling with more than two people, a bunk bed is a space-efficient way to create more sleeping space in your campervan.

When they aren’t in use, the bunks can be flipped and stored flush against the wall of your van to make room for more people or space. However, we’ve also seen permanently installed bunk beds on the wall or ceiling in some campervan bed designs too.

It’s not a big space saver compared to other camper beds, but it makes the most sense for van life families.

Couch Beds

If you’re already building a couch in your conversion DIY van, then why not add a sliding extension so it can also be used as a bed?

You can use slats that pull out to convert your daytime couch to a lay-flat bed. This is one of the most common van conversion bed ideas for people living the van life.

If that bed design seems too complicated to build, then you can also go with the traditional hideaway bed or DIY sleeper sofa.

These are your typical futon-style couches that fold out to become a simple and practical bed.

Sofa bed campervan designs are pretty popular these days, especially for smaller vans, as they really maximise space.

Hammock Beds

Who says you need a full mattress to get a good night’s sleep? Stringing up a hammock in your van is a low-cost campervan bed option for those on a budget.

Best of all, there’s very little construction that’s required. All you have to do is install the bolts and plates to your campervan, and viola!

Keep in mind that hammock beds are best if you’re a solo traveler. It’s not the most comfortable or practical bed design for couples!

Slider Beds

A slider bed is a cool alternative solution to the permanent platform-style van bed. A slider bed is made with interconnecting slats that pull out to form a full-size bed.

When the slat bed is not in use, it can be used as a bench or table, which is practical for your van living space.

On the downside, it’s one of the most difficult van bed styles to build by hand. If it’s your first time building a bed for a van conversion, then you might opt for something a little easier.

convertible campervan bed
A convertible campervan bed doubles as a couch when you’re not using it to sleep.

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About the Author - Alesha and Jarryd - Van Life Theory

Hi! We're Alesha and Jarryd, the founders of Van Life Theory! We're currently travelling around Australia in our 2008 Mercedes Sprinter campervan and sharing our best experiences, stories, reviews and adventures as we go along. Make sure you follow along on our Instagram and YouTube!

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